Losing weight is hard enough - but it can be especially challenging after you've had a child. Even if you lost everything else (your mind, your sanity, and even a few precious pounds) you're still carrying around that unbelievably difficult to get rid of pooch- and it's driving you insane! Below are a few tips to help you kick start your weight loss. Try incorporating each one, one day at a time, and consciously practice them until they become habit.
o Begin with "intent." Don't be random about your weight loss plan - set a goal. Even if it's a small daily goal (no cookies today), know what it is and keep this awareness about you throughout the day. Repeat your goal out loud or in your head over and over until you're saying it without even realizing it. Repetition builds confidence and reinforcement.
o Pause before you eat a snack - reflect upon how you feel after you eat this snack. Close your eyes and picture the process you go through post-snack (regret? disgust? lethargy? your emotional reaction to eating?).
o Don't wait to cheat. If you're a notorious diet cheater, plan to cheat and get it out of the way immediately! I almost always cheat on the first day of a new diet - it spares me the heartache a week later after I've actually lost a pound or two. You've already created the expectation for yourself, now just fulfil it a little earlier than planned so you can file it away.
o Eat something healthy before you eat the snack. It's OK to eat the snack but you must eat the health food first (cucumber, fruit salad, yogurt, etc). Eventually, when you crave the snack food, you will almost immediately crave the healthy food as well. Eventually, you will be content just eating the health food and skipping the snack.
o If you're not already drinking 5-8 glasses of water a day you are doing yourself a great disservice. Not only will it leave your skin clear and glowing, but it will keep your stomach feeling full, fulfil that need to have something in your mouth, AND help properly process the food you consume. Place a different water bottle in every location where you spend time (bedroom, car, office, tv room) so that you're always reaching for it.
o Do something while you're doing nothing. Are you lying on the couch watching TV? Do some leg lifts (and be sure to always pull your stomach in when you do this to strengthen your core). Are you washing dishes? Stand on one leg and lift yourself up onto the ball of your foot to strengthen your calf muscles. Continue switching legs. Are you on the phone? Walk around your house, or up and down the stairs, or stand still while doing plies.
o Go for fake sugar. There are some really tasty sugar free drinks on the market as well as yummy sugar free snacks, like chocolate pudding and cookies. Try substituting ice cream for ice pops or buying natural frozen fruit bars. These foods will still fulfill your sugar cravings.
You don't need to attempt all of these at once to lose weight fast - habits take time to develop. Choose one or two that seem easy and try them for a week...then 2 weeks, then 3 weeks. Soon enough you will be doing them without thinking about it. Adopt a new habit when you are feeling confident and strong and ready to tackle the task at hand!